Memorial held for fallen San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson #3817

Memorial held for fallen San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson #3817

In a memorial held for 14 year San Jose Police veteran Michael Johnson, badge #3817, he was remembered by more than 56 law enforcement agencies and thousands of guests who gathered at the City of San Jose’s SAP Center on Thursday, April 2.

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Johnson’s funeral procession, led by SJPD’s top brass and local, county and state law enforcement agencies, proceeded down North Santa Cruz Boulevard in Los Gatos toward the City of Campbell, Santa Clara County, and through the city of San Jose, to eventually rest at the SAP Center. After the memorial service, his body was laid to rest at the Oak Hill Memorial Park on Curtner Avenue in San Jose during a private ceremony held for close friends and family members.

The Town of Los Gatos Police Department joined in the procession. This was the first time that the Town of Los Gatos had participated in providing support for the Memorial Service of a fallen officer who had been killed in the line of duty.

View a video of the day of the memorial.

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Like many employees that work with the community, the killing of SJPD Officer Johnson by Scott Dunham during a distress call by a family member has affected thousands throughout the city, state, and country, along with the Bay Area.

One fire fighter with Santa Clara County Fire Department said, “They have our full support”. Santa Clara County Fire Department Mechanic Phil Taylor said, “I think it affects everyone on a personal level.” Taylor said, “You hate to see something like this happen.”

The streets were lined with Flags streamed by local community and law enforcement service members. There were also children who were able to watch the procession safely from the sidewalk near their school at St. Lucy Catholic Parish Church. One parent said, “I think it is good that they are honoring him.” She said, “We think it is really sad, that’s why we are out here doing this.”

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With more than 8000 attendants at the memorial service, parking was spread throughout the area as mourners both walked and drove to attend the service.

Menlo Park Police Officer Scott Solis said, “Death did not make you a hero.” Solis is a former San Jose police officer who graduated with Johnson from the San Jose police academy in 2001. “You where already a hero while you lived.” Solis said “I truly believe Mike is looking down on us right now, so I would like us to give Mike a standing ovation for the life that he gave to us.”

SJPD Chief of Police Larry Esquivel also spoke. “As a police chief, you never want to get that call” Esquivel said. “On March 24, 2015, I got that call.” Like so many others working with the San Jose Police Department, the loss of Johnson has sharpened the bond between officers. Esquivel said “The state of the San Jose Police Department is strong, and that’s because of officers like Michael.”

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California Attorney General Kamala Harris spoke, saying “He gave 14 years of his life to the most noble of professions.” Harris said, “Johnson’s death underscores the inherent risks police face every day they put on a uniform.” Harris talked about how when working with the community, there are often times that “safety comes at a supreme price, and that price must always be remembered by a grateful state and her people.” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said, “There’s nothing that could have been done differently except not respond to the call.”

Johnson’s older sister Jamie Radack spoke about Michael in a kind and loving way in remembrance of their growing up together. “I knew he would grow up to become a cop,” Radack said. “Mike, we do not only miss you, but you have left emptiness in our lives that cannot be filled.” Radack said that “Mike was always genuine, always honest, always trustworthy, always loyal, always there for his friends.”

All photos by Amy Nilson

Memorial held for fallen San Jose Police Officer Michael Johnson #3817 was last modified: April 3rd, 2015 by admin
Categories: Santa Clara